Board of Directors

Risa E. Kaufman

Board Member and Co-Founder Risa Kaufman is the director of human rights at the Overbrook Foundation, where she leads the foundation’s grantmaking, partnerships, and collaborations to defend democracy, advance reproductive health, rights, and justice, and protect human rights defenders in Latin America. She is co-author of the law school casebook Human Rights Advocacy in the United States (with Martha F. Davis, Johanna Kalb, and Rachel Lopez) (3rd ed. 2023), and she is an adjunct law professor at NYU School of Law, where she teaches a seminar on U.S. human rights advocacy. 

Risa has extensive experience in human rights and public interest litigation, advocacy, and legal education focused on gender, racial, and economic justice, political participation, and access to justice. Prior to joining the Overbrook Foundation, Risa was director of U.S. Human Rights at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she led the Center’s efforts to integrate international human rights norms and strategies to protect and promote the full range of reproductive rights in the United States. Previously, she was the executive director of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, where she developed and implemented strategies and initiatives to promote U.S. accountability for human rights and provided overall management for the Institute. Other previous roles include associate counsel at the Community Service Society of New York, Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at the law firm of Gibbons, P.C., and Skadden Fellow at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (now Legal Momentum).  Risa holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden scholar. She clerked for Judge Ira DeMent in the U.S. District Court in Montgomery, Alabama, and holds a B.A. from Tulane University.

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